A CNN anchor reporting on the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shootings ignored the request by lawyers for 22-year-old suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich to use they/them pronouns because they are said to be non-binary.
Broadcaster Alisyn Camerota, 56, delivered the news live on-air that Aldrich’s legal representatives would be referring to their client as ‘they’ and ‘Mx Aldrich’ in upcoming court sessions and filings.
It saw Camerota essentially stunned into silence after learning of the news.
She, along with a panel of legal and political analysts, appeared shocked by the announcement while another commentator went on to question the legitimacy of Aldrich’s gender identity.
Camerota ignored the wishes of the lawyer and continued to use he/him pronouns.
‘I don’t know what to say about that, I mean, that’s what he’s now saying,’ Camerota said Tuesday evening, using the male pronoun.
‘I don’t know what to say about that, I mean, that’s not anything that we had heard from his background,’ Camerota said Tuesday evening
Errol Lewis, a CNN political commentator, doubted the legitimacy of Aldrich’s non-binary gender status
Pictured: A newly release mugshot following the shooting shows Anderson Lee Aldrich’s face after they were beaten and subdued when they opened fire inside the Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five and injuring 15
The series of comments from the CNN panel began with Camerota announcing the non-binary pronouns and gender identity update.
‘So, attorneys for the accused shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, say in new court filings tonight that the suspect now identifies as non-binary,’ Camerota said.
As she continued talking about the accused shooter, the CNN anchor continued to use male pronouns when addressing Aldrich.
‘I don’t know what to say about that, I mean, that’s not anything that we had heard from his background, you know people have been looking into his background,’ she continues.
Just seconds after Camerota made the comments, one of the men invited on air to discuss the update outright questioned Aldrich’s pronouns.
‘It sounds like they’re trying to prepare a defense against a hate crimes charge,’ said CNN political analyst Errol Lewis.
‘That’s the least of his problems, legally speaking, but it looks like they’re trying to build some kind of sympathy or at least confusion on the question of whether or not this was purely motivated by hate,’ Lewis said.
Aldrich is facing at least five counts of homicide and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.
‘That’s what he’s now saying,’ the CNN anchor continued while seemingly questioning the legitimacy of the claims
‘It sounds like they’re trying to prepare a defense against a hate crimes charge,’ said Lewis
The video, shared to Twitter by news analyst Kevin Tober, has amassed more than 1.3 million views since being posted to the app late Tuesday evening.
‘Watch in real time as CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota sees her network’s narrative on the Colorado Springs gay night club shooting come crashing down,’ Tober wrote in the tweet.
‘She was speechless that the shooter identifies as “non binary”: “I don’t know what to say about that,'” the news analyst wrote.
The tweet sparked backlash with some calling out the anchor and panelists for hypocrisy.
The panelists were called out for hypocrisy over their use of male pronouns after it was announced Aldrich uses they/them pronouns
”Sooooooooo… you get to pick and choose when to believe the pronouns or what exactly?’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘Imagine any other scenario when not taking someone at their word on their pronouns wouldn’t be called bigotry by this same crew,’ another responded to Tober.
‘Are they doubting what Mx identifies as? I thought we weren’t allowed to question they/them,’ said another person.
‘Um excuse me? He?! It clearly says they/them and they are ignoring the requested pronouns! Where is the outrage?’ one person tweeted.
Others on Twitter called out the group for their insinuation that the non-gendered pronouns are a legal strategy to avoid hate crime charges
Anderson Lee Aldrich is shown, left, in a family photo and right, in a June 2021 livestream where they threatened to blow up a house where their mother was renting a room. They are now charged with five counts of murder
This comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that Aldrich’s neighbor claimed the 22-year-old would routinely use the word ‘f****t,’ and would often spout gay slurs when they were angry.
Xavier Kraus, 23, told the Daily Beast that Aldrich would regularly attend a gun range where ‘rapid fire’ was allowed.
The suspect also went to the shooting range with his mother, Laura Voepel, the neighbor said.
Kraus also said that Aldrich had confessed to being a heroin user and once told him: ‘It’s not the gun you’ve got to be afraid of, it’s the people.’
Aldrich, 22, has been ordered to be held in jail without bail in a hearing on Wednesday
In a separate interview with CBS News, Kraus said that Aldrich admitted to using heroin and said that he was addicted to opium.
During that interview, Kraus discussed the suspect’s use of gay slurs saying: ‘It didn’t come across as true hate like, “I’m gonna go kill these people.'”
Just before midnight on November 19, Aldrich is thought to have opened fire in Club Q in Colorado Springs.
Aldrich was eventually subdued by US Army veteran Richard M. Fierro as well as patron Thomas Jane and a drag performer.
The club’s owners say Aldrich arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun. Patrons used the handgun the 22-year-old was carrying to beat him to the ground until police arrived.
Aldrich also appeared battered and bruised at court, a day after they were released from the hospital following his injuries
Court sketches also captured the suspects disposition as he appeared half a sleep
The owners of Club Q say Anderson Aldrich arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun
On Tuesday, DailyMail.com revealed the first photograph of Colorado gay club shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich along with video filmed of them threatening to blow their mother’s house to ‘holy hell’ a year ago.
Aldrich was taken into custody at the house where their mother was renting a room in June 2021 in Colorado Springs. Ring camera footage from that day shows Aldrich made a bomb threat while wearing SWAT gear, broadcasting live on their mother’s Facebook account.
‘This is your boy, I’ve got the f*****g s**theads outside. F*****g s**theads got their f*****g rifles out. If they breach I’m [going to] blow it to holy hell. Come on in boys, let’s f*****g see it!’ they said in the video.
Aldrich was taken into custody on charges of felony menacing and kidnapping. They are shown surrendering to police in one of the videos provided to DailyMail.com.
The charges were however dropped this year.
Two of the victims have been named as Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston, a 28-year-old trans man, who both worked in the club as bartenders.
Aeron Laney, 24, was at the club for the first time, having just moved to Colorado Springs. She described a small club where everyone seemed to know each other, the kind of place she knew she would fit right in.
‘Everyone was just having a good time and smiling and laughing,’ she told AFP, tearfully looking at the bank of flowers growing outside the club.
‘I just can’t wrap my head around somebody just walking in and seeing people that are so happy and so comfortable in their community and just wanting to end that.’
Laney and her friend Justin Godwin left minutes before the gunman stormed in.
‘Maybe the guy was already there. Like was he in the parking lot… just planning it?’ Godwin, 25, said. ‘It’s just terrifying.’
People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub on Sunday night after the horror shooting
The shooting is now being investigated as a hate crime, leaving members of local LGBTQ community devastated
US President Joe Biden condemned the attack, slamming violence against the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender women of color.
‘We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,’ he said.
Kelly Loving was shot dead along with barmen Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston
A worker at Club Q, which is billed as a ‘happening gay nightclub’ on its website, paid tribute to his two slain colleagues Sunday, sharing a picture of Rump and Aston to Facebook.
The post featured a photo of the pair behind Club Q’s bar, as well as an accompanying caption mourning the loss.
‘My boys are gone,’ the tribute read. ‘Plz (sic) take care of each other. I love you both so much.’
A friend of Rump also posted a tribute to his late friend, who, like Aston, was a member of the local LGBTQ community.
‘Two beautiful souls were taken from us last night,’ the poster wrote, adding that while he did not know Aston well, ‘both [would] be missed.’
The poster would go on to paint a picture of Rump from accounts of those who knew him, describing him as ‘an amazing person with a big heart.’
Derrick Rump (left) and Daniel Aston (right) were among the five killed Saturday night at Club Q in the seemingly premediated attack, carried out by a single gunman armed with an AR-15
Kassy Fierro is pictured with her boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, 22, who tragically lost his life during the shooting at the Colorado Springs gay bar on Saturday night
Another victim, Raymond Green Vance was the boyfriend of Kassy Fierro. She is the daughter of Rich Fierro, who was one of two men who ultimately managed to subdue gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich.
Kassy broke her knee as she was running for cover during the shooting.
‘I had my whole Colorado Springs family in there. I had to do something. He was not going to kill my family,’ Rich Fierro, 45, said to the Washington Post on Monday.
‘I just want people to take care of people, the people who are hurt and no longer with us. I still got two of my best friends who are in the hospital. They still need prayers; they still need support.’
Fierro, who works for defense contractor Northrop Grumman and co-owns Atrevida Beer, was at the club along with his wife, Jessica.
Among the remaining victims was a transgender woman who just moved to Colorado Springs and a married mother who was visiting the club with a friend when she was killed.
Ashley Paugh, pictured with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, was among those killer on Saturday. She was visiting the club with a friend when the gunman opened fire
Rich Fierro, the heroic former Army Major who attacked and subdued the Club Q gunman is seen with his wife Jessica